Latest Entries
Next Live-ish Show: Emily Raboteau
Uncategorized

Next Live-ish Show: Emily Raboteau

I first encountered this writer through “Spark Bird,” her terrific piece in Orion Magazine about the Audubon bird murals in her Harlem neighborhood. (Please forgive that reductive “about.”) For this Zoom event, produced with Orion, we’ll abandon our usual person place thing format and instead do bird bird bird.Tuesday, Aug. 24, 6:00   for more information … Continue reading »

Music

360: Anthony McGill

Every musician relishes applause — who wouldn’t? — but the principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic also finds value in an audience booing. “To know that someone was infuriated by a performance or a set or something like that is kind of enjoyable in a sick sort of way, too.” The joys of a … Continue reading »

Architecture & Design

359: Sarah Carroll

She heads New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, safeguarding 36,000 buildings. She loves them all, of course, but one material has a special claim on her heart. “We have terra cotta everywhere in this city, architectural terra cotta. It’s structural, it’s non-structural, it’s ornamental.” That fabulous clay, that magical goo, that stuff that makes Manhattan. … Continue reading »

Dance

358: Karen Krolak

To experience art does not mean to contemplate an immutable exquisite object, but to cultivate a relationship, says this dancer/choreographer. “It’s similar to what you get from long-term friendships or marriage or family.” Maybe not my family, but I see what she means. Introduced by Ralph Farris, violist in the quartet Ethel, and creator of … Continue reading »

Poetry

357: Patricia Spears Jones

One way to describe art is to note that it has beauty but not utility. This poet rejects that dichotomy, especially when it comes to everyday objects. “Often, things that are domestic are diminished because they are connected to females.” She loves things that are both beautiful and useful: quilts, fans, teapots. A conversation with … Continue reading »

Nonfiction

356: Louis Menand

Author of The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War, he is as sophisticated an intellectual as any of his colleagues at The New Yorker. The book that set him on his path? A Hardy Boys mystery, The Secret of the Old Mill. “I read this, and my heart was pounding. And I thought, I want to … Continue reading »

Television

355: Penn Badgley

This actor, perhaps best known as Dan Humphrey in Gossip Girl and Joe Goldberg in the Netflix series You, is modest about his craft. “The only thing that’s ours as actors is how we feel as we say lines we didn’t write, as we wear clothes we didn’t purchase or even choose.”  The importance of emotional honesty, the burden of … Continue reading »

Architecture & Design

354: Gail Anderson

This terrific graphic designer loves, without nostalgia, the world of print magazines where she began. She cautions her students, denizens of the online realm, “Everything looks cool on screen.” Her prescription: “Buy a printer, buy a printer, buy a printer.” The seductive deceptions of the digital, the bracing revelations of the physical. Presented with the … Continue reading »

Art

353: Vinnie Bagwell

When this sculptor creates a statue of a historical figure―Sojourner Truth, Ella Fitzgerald, Teddy Roosevelt―she learns a lot about her subject. While conceiving a more metaphoric project, Victory, she made a disconcerting discovery: there are no Black angels in public art. “Are you trying to say there are no Black people in heaven?” she demanded. … Continue reading »

Fiction

352: Annie Proulx

Some scholars toil away their lives, humbly adding their mote to the supply of human knowledge. Then there was Selma Barkham. “She was responsible for finding out something about Newfoundland that nobody had ever known,” says Annie Proulx. A fine writer––The Shipping News, Brokeback Mountain––tells the story of an extraordinary scholar. Presented with the American Academy of Arts and … Continue reading »

Art

351: Alice Aycock

This sculptor, perhaps best known for a series of piece resembling captured tornadoes, describes how her darker feelings affect her work: “As artists, we are very sensitive to pain, but we don’t just use it as something to whine about, but as a probing tool.” No whining? No wonder I’m not an artist. Well, that … Continue reading »

Nonfiction

350: Tony Hiss

His most recent book, Rescuing the Planet: Protecting Half the Land to Heal the Earth, is surprisingly upbeat for a book whose title includes the words “rescuing” and “heal.” I discovered him through an earlier work, The Experience of Place, in honor of which we break format and, instead of person place thing, talk place place place. Continue reading »